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How to motivate athletes who come from poor home lives?

DMooers

New member
I am coaching an inner city soccer team at the moment and have many players who come from tough home lives. Throughout my coaching, I have learned that many of them do not respond well to correction. They think that I think of them as bad athletes and that I am disappointed in them. This is so far from the truth. I correct them to make them better players and become their best selves. Any tips on how to make these athletes understand that I am not out to get them?
 

Einarthl

New member
You need to build some trust between them and let them know that if they are in the team it´s because they are earning it. Cheers!
 

anniel

New member
As a coach who has worked with high-needs populations at high school and middle school levels, I would encourage you to make sure you're balancing your corrections with LOTS of praise for things your athletes are doing successfully, whether that is a good response to your corrections, good technique in other areas of the sport, good sportsmanship, etc. I have found that all athletes, but especially athletes coming from tough home situations, do their best when they can tell you are noticing all the good they are doing.
 

Sflom

New member
You need to build some trust between them and let them know that if they are in the team it´s because they are earning it. Cheers!
Agreed! Trust is everything. I am an educator and a coach and I have found that building a relationship with both trust and respect is KEY!
 

Sflom

New member
I do think you need to make sure you are purposeful in your word choice and your tone. Depending on the age group you are coaching, I have found that my middle schoolers really appreciate sincerity. Tell them that when you offer tips or directives it is because you want to see them grow and that you are there to help them. You also need to point out what they do correctly.

Also, try not to point out more than 1-2 things per skill. For instance, if I am teaching my players to spike a ball, I don't point out every wrong thing---it is overwhelming for a kid, not to mention disheartening. Instead, I hone in on 1 or 2 pieces of the overall skill for the player to focus on.
 

GermanBd

New member
From my experience, I have seen that most of the athletes in any selection camp or coaching center come from diversified backgrounds and different social level. In the beginning, many of them even do not know many modern issues for game and training development. I think it is very usual. As a coach, you should sit with them, ask them individually about their limitations and ensure them that these are very normal and so that they are learning from you now.
 

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